ROSEMONT, Ill. —The Big Ten announced its 2018-19 women’s basketball conference schedule Tuesday afternoon live on BTN’s “Big Ten Basketball and Beyond.” The conference season opens Dec. 28 and leads up to the 26th Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament from March 6-10 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
As announced last October, the Big Ten returns to an 18-game women’s basketball conference schedule this season, with each school facing five opponents twice in a home-and-away series, while playing the other eight schools once (five at home, five on the road). Big Ten women’s basketball programs played 18 regular-season conference games for the first 12 seasons of Big Ten play (1982-83 through 1993-94), and returned to that format from 2007-08 to 2009-10 and again in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
The 2018-19 Big Ten women’s basketball season tips off Dec. 28, with 12 of the 14 conference schools in action. Ohio State, which won last year’s Big Ten title outright after sharing the 2016-17 crown with Maryland, will begin defense of its championship with a road game at Purdue, while the Terrapins, who won conference titles in their first three Big Ten seasons, will open at Penn State. Other games on opening day will feature defending WNIT champion Indiana at Illinois, Michigan at Nebraska, Wisconsin at Minnesota and Northwestern at Rutgers.
Iowa and Michigan State will open their conference seasons Dec. 30 with a matchup in East Lansing.
The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held in Indianapolis for the 22nd time, with the event to remain at Bankers Life Fieldhouse through 2022. All 14 conference schools will participate in the tournament, which tips off Wednesday, March 6, with first-round games between the No. 11 and 14 seeds, and the No. 12 and 13 seeds. The top four teams during regular season play will earn first- and second-round byes and make their tournament debuts in the quarterfinal round on Friday, March 8, with the championship game slated for Sunday, March 10.
Times and television designations for the 2018-19 Big Ten Conference women’s basketball season and the 2019 Big Ten Tournament will be announced at a later date. The conference will feature four major media partners: BTN, CBS Sports, ESPN and FOX Sports.
The full 2018-19 Big Ten women’s basketball conference schedule can be found on the attached PDF.